White Alligator

A large white alligator lies on a rock at Audubon Zoo.

Animal's Behavior
As if these large iconic reptiles weren’t impressive enough, the rare leucistic white alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) are even more breathtaking. They’ve been described as ethereal, ghostly and, most frequently, beautiful. They have translucent white skin and deep blue eyes with a hint of pigmentation splashed here and there. Leucism is a rare condition not to be confused with albinism, which results in pink eyes and no pigmentation at all. The incidence of leucistic gators is probably very rare, although it is hard to say for certain since leucistic young lack protective camouflage coloring and are easy pickings for predators.

Eating Habits
Like normal alligators, white gators eat everything from fish and snails to nutria and turtles.

American alligators are common throughout the southeast United States.

Conservation Efforts
Normal American alligators were once on the verge of extinction. Today the alligator population is recovered thanks to careful government management. White alligators are not a separate species but are considered extremely rare. There have only been a few documented occurrences of leucistic alligators.

Animal Facts
Alligators are generally not interested in humans as prey unless they have been habituated to not fear people. When people feed wild alligators, the gators become a greater danger as they associate food with humans.